Mounties welcome help for rural crime fight

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New advisory officer has 'valuable role'

INNISFAIL – Innisfail RCMP have a new face helping them fight rural crime.

That help is in the form of Staff Sgt. Mark Groves, the new temporary district advisory officer for the Central Alberta district.

“This isn’t a new role. We’ve always had that position. (Groves) is replacing someone in an interim capacity,” said Innisfail RCMP Staff Sgt. Chris Matechuk. “His job will be to administratively support detachments to help us with crime reduction initiatives.

“It’s a valuable role. That’s who detachments go to for the first line of support,” he added.

Groves will assist and support detachment commanders in Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake, Rimbey, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House and Innisfail.

Matechuk said he has worked with Groves in the past and noted the experience he brings to the job. He pointed to some areas where Groves will support Innisfail RCMP.

“We collaborate our resources with our neighbouring detachments and we will continue to do so,” he said. “We’re looking at ways we can change the way we do our enforcement and hopefully have more success in a collaborative approach identifying habitual offenders.

“We’re looking at crime prevention initiatives as well,” Matechuk added.

“Crime reduction and crime reduction initiatives is one of the priorities this year and Staff Sgt. Groves is there to support us in that function.”

Moving forward, Matechuk said they hope to make a dent in rural crime in 2018.

“We want to make an impact on rural crime,” said Matechuk. “It can be done two ways – through enforcement and through education.”

Education also means being aware when it comes to rural crime.

“If you see something that looks odd, call us, report crime and call us in the early stages,” said Matechuk. “The more support we get from our community, the more effective we can be.”

Staff Sgt. Chris Matechuk, Innisfail RCMP

“It’s a valuable role. That’s who detachments go to for the first line of support.”

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The Innisfail Province has been the source for news and community information in Innisfail and area since 1902.